August 15, 2011, 7:22 PM —
I just got a new job in a great IT organization. What things can I do to get off to a great start? Thanks, and I hope you publish my question :) Thanks, Justin T.
Hi Justin, thanks for writing in. First and most important, congratulations on your new job. There are a number of things you can do to help assure a quality start to your new job. As you will see, some can be done before your first day of work, others can be done as early as your first day of employment, and they are all related to learning about your new work environment.
Things you can do prior to your first day of work.
- Learn as much as you can about the company, including its products, locations, history, revenue, and number of employees. This can be done by a combination of studying the company’s website, doing web and Twitter searches on the company’s name and its product names, and if the company is publicly held, analyze its stock price over the last year and any available investment research notes.
- Learn about the industry if your new employer is in an industry you are not familiar with, (for example, healthcare, financial services, construction, etc.). This will help you gain a better understanding of the environment in which your company operates.
- Use LinkedIn and other means to find someone who previously worked for the company. By talking with an ex-employee, you can generally get an unbiased and honest opinion of the company, including internal politics, things to watch out for, and how to best succeed.
- Learn about the IT group’s vendors, methodologies, and technologies based on any information you gained during your interview process. Having a general understanding of these topics will save you a little study time once your job begins.
- Learn about the company’s major competitors, particularly if the company has a specific competitor that it considers an arch rival. Knowing a little about the company’s competitors may help you create innovative IT solutions that truly can help beat the competition.